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Holiday Cooking | December 20, 2019

Cranberry Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Looking for a simple, indulgent holiday dessert or brunch dish? Cranberry Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce is festive and decadent and so unbelievably easy to make!

This Cranberry Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce is the best bread pudding recipe ever! Bread pudding generally consists of bread or rolls, cream or half and half, eggs, sugar and butter. This recipe for bread pudding doesn’t require much work besides tearing up bread and mixing together a few simple ingredients.

Sara Lee or King’s brand Hawaiian Rolls are my rolls of choice for this bread pudding recipe!

Bread pudding may be made with fresh or stale bread or rolls. I love using “Hawaiian Rolls” which are a little sweeter than a traditional dinner roll. They are sold in specialty bakeries and in stores as big as Walmart. Again, any type of soft roll or even a loaf of thick sliced bread will work!

Bread pudding ready to be baked!

I believe the key to a perfect bread pudding, and one that is not dried out or too wet after baking is to bake it covered for part of the time, and then remove the foil and bake for a few minutes uncovered to let the top crisp up just a little and allow the excess moisture to escape the pudding. Remember to not overbake, you want the bread pudding to be moist, but not drippy wet!

Baked bread pudding, with some of the caramel sauce drizzled on top!

ABK’s recipe for Cranberry Bread Pudding is seriously the easiest dessert you will ever make. Place the rolls in the pan, pour the egg mixture over the rolls, cover and bake. While the bread pudding is baking, make the sauce. After the pudding comes out of the oven, pour on a little of the sauce, serve the rest on the side and enjoy! This tart and sweet dish tastes like you spent HOURS in the kitchen. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me!

Every bite of this treat is filled with a creamy, tart and sweet mouthful of goodness that will satisfy any serious comfort food craving. Whip up a batch of this easy Cranberry Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce for your next holiday gathering!

5 from 6 votes

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword bread pudding, cranberry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16


  • 1 15-16 oz package Hawaiian Rolls I used either Sara Lee or King's brand
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, washed and drained
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar for topping bread pudding

Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream not whipped
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • powdered sugar for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven.

  2. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.

  3. Break each roll in quarters and place sideways to fill the pan.

  4. Blend half and half, eggs, sugar and vanilla in a blender.  When mixed well, pour over top of the rolls evenly.

  5. Sprinkle cranberries and cinnamon on top. Cover with foil.

  6. Bake for 35 minutes, then uncover and bake for 10-12 minutes until light brown. 

For Caramel Syrup

  1. While bread pudding is baking, combine butter, brown sugar and whipping cream in a heavy saucepan.

  2. Whisk sauce until smooth, bring to a boil for one minute, then remove from heat – add vanilla, almond and salt. 

  3. Pour 1/2 cup caramel sauce over the top of the bread pudding after baking, reserving the remainder for individual servings. When ready to serve, sprinkle individual serving with powdered sugar and additional caramel sauce.

Recipe Notes

  • I place the rolls on their side instead of the bottom of the roll directly on the bottom of the pan because the roll is already browned from cooking the first time! If you place the roll with the browned side down, it will often turn very dark brown on the bottom after the additional time to bake the bread pudding. This also applies to savory breakfast casseroles! The simple solution is to bake the rolls on their side.
  • If eggs are small, use enough eggs to equal 1 cup.
  • Use almond flavoring, vanilla, or both. I use both!
  • You can improvise and add chopped nuts and other berries as you like! 
  • This recipe may be made up to 24 hours in advance. If the dish is going to sit in the fridge for over 6-8 hours, make sure to add an additional 1/3 cup of half and half to the egg mixture to prevent dryness!

14 thoughts on “Cranberry Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

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Recipe Rating

  1. Hi! Just wondering if this is best served warm? I know you said it could be made in advance, if so would you heat it up slightly before serving? It looks heavenly, thanks for sharing!!

    1. Hi Elise, it really just depends on your preference, I like it served warm but it tastes great chilled as well. I usually heat it up in the oven before serving. Thanks for asking and for reading ABK!

  2. Where does the 1/4c brown sugar go from the bread pudding section? Is it just sprinkled over the top before baking? I wasn’t quite sure.

  3. 5 stars
    Every recipe I’ve tried on A Bountiful kitchen is delicious and this is no exception! Such a festive, fun and yummy recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING!!!! It was super easy to make and so delicious! I will be making this over and over again. It was the perfect texture, neither soupy/soggy like I was afraid a bread pudding might turn out like nor dry like I was fearing after prepping it the night before (it didn’t seem like enough liquid, even with the extra liquid added as the notes said).

    I added an extra 1/2 cup of cranberries and forgot the brown sugar (the instructions have no mention of it), still perfect! It was fantastic reheating and eating for breakfast a couple days later too.

  5. 5 stars
    YUMMM!! I made this last year for Christmas, this year for Thanksgiving (yep, 2 of us gladly ate the whole thing), and will make it again for Christmas, IT’S THAT GOOD!!! Super quick and easy to prepare, looks stunning, and tastes fantastic. My boyfriend said, “it’s so good, it should be a crime!”

  6. Question on the amount of butter for the caramel sauce. It calls for “1/2 cup 1/2 cup unsalted butter”. What is the correct amount of butter? Thanks.

  7. For this cranberry bread pudding caramel sauce the recipe says 1/2 cup butter 2 times.. is that just an error? I want to make it this week but need to know if I use 1/2 cup or 1 1/2 cup butter.

    1. Hi Terry,
      So sorry for the confusion, it is 1/2 cup of unsalted butter. The measurement was entered twice! It is now corrected. Thanks for the heads up.

  8. 5 stars
    I recently went on a girls trip to Disneyland/ California Adventure and for their 100th anniversary they have a delicious bread pudding at the Pacific Wharf Cafe. Upon returning home I was telling my husband how amazing the bread pudding was and how I wish he could have tried it. I was craving the bread pudding and decided to check and see if ABK had a recipe, and you did!
    I made this recipe and it was just the ticket I was looking for. Sooo delicious and the caramel sauce is a must!!! Love love loved it! I served it to my in-laws at family dinner and they loved it.

    I omitted the cranberries and cooked it with out berries. Served it with caramel sauce, whipped cream and fresh raspberries!
    Thank you Si!!

  9. 5 stars
    We devour these – one of our favorites!! We use raspberries instead of cranberries for our kids taste buds. We love to make a double batch and share with neighbors, always a winner!!